I was surprised to hear the Native Pronunciation of -rr- in the place name Wirral as voiced alveolar stop/tap -d- in this video as spoken by a native centenarian at the time point 0:47:

Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds

Is this the standard pronunciation for the -rr- in NW England, or is it standard English? This seems to be the reverse of the American rhoticity of the intervocalic -t- in words like "scooter". I would like to gain greater clarity into the phonetics involved here. Thank you!

  • 3
    That doesn’t sound like a voiced [d] to me – or rather, it doesn’t sound like his voiced [d]’s. He’s from 1915, so it would not be unexpected for him to have tapped [ɾ] as the intervocalic allophone of /r/. The sound he makes in Wirral here to me just sounds like a tapped [ɾ] where the contact between tongue and alveolar ridge accidentally ended up just a bit longer than usual. I won’t fault him for having lost a little bit of his finer lingual muscle control at 101 years of age. Oct 9 '21 at 23:06
  • I know a couple of people from the Wirral (albeit much younger than this, both being born in the 90s), and both had fairly standard Northern-influenced RP /r/ in Wirral, definitely not a d, or even a tap. So if it were standard for the region, it doesn't seem to be any more
    – Tristan
    Oct 11 '21 at 9:24

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